Daryn’s Gym, a mockumentary comedy by writer-director Brett Michael Innes, is one of 16 films globally that will have its international premiere as part of the Big Screen Competition section of the 51st edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s programme.
The International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Big Screen Competition is the result of a long-lived collaboration between the IFFR and VPRO, bridging the gap between popular, classic and art house cinema by showcasing 16 feature films from across the globe to an audience jury.
In pre-pandemic times, filmmakers would have travelled to Rotterdam to present the film to the audiences of the festival, but the recent lockdown in the Netherlands has forced the festival, which runs from 26 January to 6 February 2022, to go virtual.
Innes says that he was completely blown away by the news that the film has been selected for the International Film Festival Rotterdam, as it is notoriously difficult for comedies to find a place at festivals as the genre is often passed over for more ‘prestigious’ content. He says: “South African films that have festival traction almost exclusively focuses on our pain and trauma, so to have one that celebrates our shared humanity through the lens of comedy is a huge honour.”
Set in a family gym in Randburg, the mockumentary comedy sees the lovable Daryn Junior pitted against the ruthless owner of a multi-national fitness centre as he fights to keep his family legacy alive. The film stars new-comer Clifford Joshua Young, as well as Hlubi Mboya, Natasha Sutherland, Siv Ngesi and Deon Coetzee.
Producer, Paulo Areal, says: “We’re naturally very disappointed that we won’t be able to experience this in person. I was fortunate enough to attend the festival in 2018 when my film, Ellen: The story of Ellen Pakkies played in the programme and have always been blown away by the love and support extended to filmmakers by the festival.”
Daryn’s Gym is presented by eVOD, eMedia’s latest online streaming service, in association with Nostalgia Productions and TMPC. The film is available nationwide on eVOD, which also allows viewers to watch subscription-free dramas, movies and documentaries with the option to upgrade for more premium viewing.